Use Your Marriage Proposal as Valentine’s Day Inspiration

Marriage Proposal signEvery married father remembers how he proposed to his wife, and they either wince at the memory or well up with tears.

No two marriage proposals are the same. Some are the stuff of viral video legend, while others don’t live up to what we see in rom-coms. Chances are you didn’t dash through the airport to reach your wife before she boarded that plane or open up your soul to her during a romantic downpour.

No matter. Fellas can use the best – and worst – proposal stories to add some spice to Valentine’s Day. Your plans don’t have to involve a shot-by-shot recreation of the proposal. Remember that unnecessary remake of “Psycho” from a few years back? Vince Vaughn is still chewing out his agent over that one.

Instead, summon the spirit of the moment in some small but important way. Did you get married on a boat? Buy a toy boat and make it part of your Valentine’s Day gift package. Hand write something on the vessel to make the connection obvious. Was your proposal a little less … elegant? Bring it up all the same. She said, “yes!” remember, so even if the proposal wasn’t perfect it will bring back warm memories.

As for me, I spent days plotting how I would propose to the future Mommylibrium. I was doing some radio hits back then, and I thought briefly about proposing to her over the air. Then I wondered if I could pop the question on one of the romantic wings at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. That seemed ideal before the winning plan came to me.

The Game’s Afoot!

My wife-to-be and I were living in Arlington, Va., only a five-minute drive from the Key Bridge leading into Georgetown. Each morning, Mommylibrium would jog from our condo, over the Key Bridge, and into Georgetown as part of her commute. At the foot of the bridge stood an odd structure with a blank front, and people used that space to share their personal messages. Some were political, while others were downright silly. The messages seemed to change every other day.

Mommylibrium and I would discuss the slogans now and then, so I figured that was a perfect way to send my own special message. I drew up a large cardboard sign saying, “Julie, Will You Marry Me?” and slipped out of the house one Saturday morning to duct tape it to that structure. I’m no law breaker, so I worried that a cop would thwart my plans. It all went down as expected.

Next, I went back to our condo and suggested to Julie that we take a nice walk over the Key Bridge and grab lunch at her favorite spot, Paolo’s Ristorante. She said yes, something I hoped she’d say one more time.

So off we went, and I soon learned the power my future bride’s Lasik eye treatments. Suffice to say she saw and read the sign before I could, and when I noticed the funny look on her face I slumped to one knee and spoke from my heart.

The best part was the walk over the bridge after she accepted my proposal. Cars drove by and honked at us, with several drivers yelling, “are you Julie?” and then shouting their well wishes.

I couldn’t have planned it any better. Once in a while you get lucky.

The only downside to sharing my proposal story is it makes it hard to follow my own Valentine’s Day advice. Mommylibrium reads this blog, so she’ll see any attempts I make to recall that day coming a mile away. Here’s hoping the post itself will say I love her just as much today as when we cemented our bond on that fateful bridge.


  1. says

    That is sweet and clever. My husband proposed in San Francisco. Maybe I could do a Valentine’s dinner of clam chowder in sourdough bread, our lunch that day?

    • Christian Toto says

      Sounds good! Anything that evokes that day, brings back warm memories or simply tells your spouse that you still remember and won’t ever forget it, is a home run in my book!

Leave a Reply to Christian Toto Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *